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EW chats with hip-hop artist David Banner about movies

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You wouldn’t like David Banner when he’s angry. After all, the tantrum-prone MC took the name of The Hulk’s alter ego because they share quicksilver mood changes. So with the pressure on high as he labors over the follow-up to his impressive 2003 discs, Mississippi: The Album and MTA2: Baptized in Dirty Water, Banner avoids going green in the studio by watching a steady stream of DVDs on his laptop. Not only do the movies lighten his mood — they’re enlightening, too.

”I’ve always wanted to be an actor,” explains the Mississippi native. Unlike most of his contemporaries with celluloid ambitions, Banner hasn’t jumped on the straight-to-video schlock he’s been offered. ”I’ve been working with an acting coach for seven months learning techniques, how to approach characters, how to get in the mindset. I’m almost ready.” Besides, he still has to finish that as-yet-untitled new CD, due July 19, with guests Lil Jon, Ludacris, Talib Kweli, and Atlanta nü-metal band Grout (ever full of surprises, Banner professes a love for the likes of Yellowcard, Björk, and fellow Mississippians 3 Doors Down). Until he gets to name his favorite curse word on Inside the Actors Studio, Banner will have to settle for telling EW about the flicks that brighten the inside of his studio. As you can see from his selections, this crunk gangsta is also quite the refined cineast.

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE ”I’ve watched it 43 times,” Banner says, rattling off a bunch of quips. (”So you guys, like, Pedro’s cousins with all the sweet hookups?”) ”I hated it when I first saw it. All the characters had to act very down, reserved. But in the end, it worked perfectly.”

THE MATRIX ”Only the first one. It describes the life that most Americans live in. There are all these things going on behind the scenes that we don’t want to look at. If you watch the news outside of the U.S., you realize how savage it is.”

THE INCREDIBLES ”Wow. A cartoon, but it really dealt with grown-up issues and being an exceptional person in society — and how you have to downplay it.”

KILL BILL — VOL. 1 ”Critics like Vol. 2 because it had more story. If I wanted to see a story, I’d watch On Golden Pond. I want to see a fine-ass woman with a sword kick ass.”

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